Traveling alone is something I have never done before. I did not go to college, and my "Euro-trip" after high-school graduation was with my grandmother, so not exactly the kind of trip you take to get lost in the world by yourself. Travel is the best way to stay creative, and tons of studies agree, so why is it so hard for people to take time away from work?
After the ups and downs of this past year, I realized the healthiest thing for me was to take a few days off and re-charge my creativity. I've always felt great about my ability to dream up interesting and out of the box ideas, but I had been coming up flat lately, and it was time for a big change.
If you're constantly pushing yourself to operate at 1000%, something is going to suffer, and for me, it was my ability to think about problems and opportunities around my business.
A short few days popped up in my schedule, so I decided to go somewhere so different from my surroundings, that I would be forced to be creative. I decided that place was Bali. It turned out to be exactly what I needed, and I definitely learned that decision fatigue was a huge factor in losing my mojo.
Here are 3 things I learned about my business, and my own mental well-being on my trip to Bali:
Decision fatigue is real.
My entire world revolves around making decisions. I probably make about 400 decisions an hour, and being in an early stage new company that is likely an underestimation. For myself, and evidenced by other studies, the fewer decisions you need to make every day allow other creative ideas and the ability to solve issues faster can creep in. I booked my stay at the AYANA Resort & Spa in Bali and I think that might have been the last decision I made for myself the entire journey. The moment I arrived, I was whisked away by staff who already knew my name. Everything from breakfast, to outings to see monkeys, cooking classes with fellow travelers and more was expertly choreographed so I didn't have to do anything but go with the flow. It was like a weight was lifted from my shoulders. No one was looking to me for direction and it was the best.
What I learned: I don't actually have the luxury to go with the flow much anymore. And it's necessary.
Being incapable of reaching my team for four days was the best thing I could give them, and myself.
Instead of me being in the office with my team, they were able to flourish and make inferences about the business they would otherwise not have seen had I been there. It was like I let everyone step into my shoes for a little while, and it made all the difference when I returned. Everyone, including myself, had a fresh perspective - and it showed.
Going somewhere beautiful and different is just what the doctor ordered.
Talking to new people gave me new areas to draw inspiration - particularly because I was alone. When you are in a group, you tend to stay that way, whereas if you're alone, you can drift.
When was the last time you stopped and watched the sun come up, or go down and just think alone, without your phone for an hour or two? At the temple, I was able to feed a monkey and I can't remember another time I've ever been more present - maybe its because the monkeys are trained to steal your sunglasses and barter for bananas.
All in all, my trip to AYANA was perfect. I could not have asked for a better getaway and I highly recommend for anyone looking to recharge, to head to the temple and feed some monkeys. You may learn a thing or two.
Pro tip for traveling to Bali: take Qatar Airways whenever possible.